Pleasantville Trustee to Challenge Cunzio in County Legislator Race

Pleasantville Village Trustee David Vinjamuri,
Pleasantville Village Trustee David Vinjamuri, who is running in an uncontested race for re-election on Mar. 16, will be running for county legislator this fall.

Pleasantville Village Trustee David Vinjamuri is virtually assured of winning re-election to the Village Board in a couple of weeks. But he also has his sights set on another office later this year.

Vinjamuri was endorsed last Thursday night by the Mount Pleasant and North Castle Democratic committees to be the party’s nominee for the District 3 seat on the Board of Legislators. He will take on three-term county lawmaker Margaret Cunzio in the fall.

Completing his first three-year term on the Village Board, Vinjamuri, who has spent much of his career as a brand manager, said he believes that he can bring a skill set and new ideas that may not be represented on the board. One focus would be to help the district’s and county’s small businesses and working families recover from the pandemic.

Chances are if you’re in the bottom half of the income spectrum, a few days of a child’s illness or some other circumstance can cost someone their job, he said.

“The question is what is the diversity of ideas and what I would suggest to you is if it’s me and the other 16 people that are there, I would provide a greater diversity of ideas at this time, for this time,” said Vinjamuri, who currently works for ThirdWay Brand Trainers.

During his career, he has worked with small business and he has written a book about entrepreneurship “Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands.”

Mount Pleasant Democratic Committee Co-chairs Bruce Campbell and Lisa Denig said in a statement that Vinjamuri is an energetic, thoughtful and committed candidate.

“We believe David will make an excellent county legislator. He listens to his constituents and is skillful at turning ideas into action,” their statement said.

Vinjamuri said he is also concerned about how the economy transitions as the area emerges from the pandemic. While a lot of that is policy set by the federal government, it’s implemented at the county level. Worker retraining should be a focus at the county level.

“You have to work with Westchester Community College other places to provide that training,” he said. “You have to make libraries a focal point for teaching small businesses how to go online, providing licenses for software. There’s a lot of what I call hidden infrastructure.”

Vinjamuri said he decided to go for another term on the Village Board, which begins in April, because he wanted to help Pleasantville through certain projects, including the Manville Road corridor and Memorial Plaza improvements. He would be able to give Pleasantville another nine months of service, and if successful in the Board of Legislators race, would resign from the seat at the end of the year.

Westchester County Legislator Margaret Cunzio
Margaret Cunzio will vie for a fourth term serving District 3, which represents North Castle, Mount Pleasant and part of Greenburgh.

Reached last weekend, Cunzio said she questioned how much strong a commitment Vinjamuri has for his constituents if he hasn’t started his second term on the Village Board and is now running at the same time for the Board of Legislators.

“I question the transparency, or lack thereof,” she said. “You’re sitting there, you’re on the ballot, you have petitions and you’re running for the village and then you haven’t been elected yet, and you’re already saying you want to run for higher office.”

Cunzio also mentioned that she found it “disingenuous” that one of the Mount Pleasant Democrats’ reasons for putting up their slate for Town Board is to have a diversity of opinion, but then the committee endorses a candidate who could make the 17-member Board of Legislators exclusively Democratic.

Cunzio, a registered Conservative is currently the only non-Democrat on the board.

“I started my public service as a county legislator. I believe in my service as a county legislator, so it’s not a steppingstone to a higher office,” Cunzio said. “My commitment lies with the constituents of District 3; it always has and I think that’s really important that people see that.”

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